Officials intend to ban polluting delivery vehicles within a newly-created zone in downtown Portland, KGW8 reports.
The project has been made possible by a $2 million federal grant supported by the Biden administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, KGW8 says.
The new rule applies to a 16-block area that includes the Portland Building, the Federal Building, and the County Courthouse. Within this zone, gas- and diesel-powered vehicles will not be allowed to make deliveries or pickups of any kind.
The program will take effect in early 2024, KGW8 reports. Once it does, any vehicles that violate the “zero-emission delivery zone” will receive parking citations.
Businesses and government buildings in the area will still need to have materials delivered, so Portland is also establishing new “distribution hubs” outside the zone, according to KGW8.
Larger delivery vehicles will be able to drop off their cargo, which will be transferred to EVs, including e-bikes and trikes, for final delivery. Portland has plans to partner with local business B-line Sustainable Urban Delivery to provide this service.
The new zone will offer several benefits for Portland residents, KGW8 reports. It should help reduce traffic by taking delivery vehicles off the streets and will lead to cleaner air in the most crowded area of the city.
It’s also a win for the environment. Transportation accounted for 35% of Oregon’s heat-trapping air pollution in 2021. The more residents and businesses switch to non-polluting solutions like EVs, the less they’ll contribute to the Earth’s rising temperature.
The project got attention on the r/electricvehicles subreddit, where commenters were enthusiastic about the change. One Redditor, who said they were born and raised in Portland, commented, “This isn’t surprising at all. We have a long-standing hatred of cars here. Yes, I know it includes EVs. But if we were given the opportunity to outlaw cars, we would.”
Another user proposed an expansion. “There are lots of parts of lots of cities where cargo bikes are easier to deal with for everyone,” they said.
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